For today’s companies, cloud adoption is a question of “when.” In 2018, Forrester predicts, more than 50% of global enterprises will use at least one public cloud platform to drive digital transformation and delight customers. This is a “magic threshold” signifying the imminent ubiquity of cloud computing and the future of doing business in today’s digital economy.

Here, we’ll take a look at what Forrester considers to be the key factors shaping business’s IT goals, plans, and investments—including, but not limited to cloud computing—in the years ahead.

Embracing Change

While there are many reasons behind a company’s decision to retool their IT environment, a change of approach is becoming imperative in order to meet customer expectations and maintain (let alone gain) market share. Cloud computing is just a part of digital transformation—the landscape is immense and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution—but it’s a rapidly growing part that decision-makers can’t afford to ignore.

Forrester expects the total global public cloud market to reach $178B in 2018, up from $146B in 2017, and continue to grow at a 22% compound annual growth rate. Part of this growth is attributed to more organizations using internet-based computing resources from public cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Oracle Cloud, and Google Cloud. It’s upon these platforms that their subscription-based software solutions (e.g. NetSuite) are built, managed, and accessed by business users. And it’s this software—and its delivery model—that’s helping to impact change.

Adding Fuel to the Fire

In Predictions 2018: A Year of Reckoning, Forrester details the major dynamics they believe are fueling widespread organizational digital transformation, with the numbers to prove it. Here are some key takeaways that may resonate with our customers who are implementing cloud-based solutions:

  • All eyes on the customer experience (CX): 30% of companies will see further declines in CX performance, and those declines will translate into a net loss of a point of growth. More than a buzzword, “customer experience” represents the Holy Grail for brands competing in the digital marketplace. Customers’ expectations are changing, and organizations who fail to address them with the right technology just won’t keep up.
  • The digital crisis: Over 60% of executives believe they are behind in their digital transformation, yet 20% will fail to act on it. This demonstrates the simple truth that a successful digital transformation depends on strategic and economic commitment.
  • The talent skills gap: Executives at “digital leaders” have 90% of the talent they need, while those at self-described “digital laggards” have only 19% of the talent they need. What does this say about a company’s growth trajectory? Without the right people to support digital transformation, how can it occur? At present, this talent is scarce—so what will it take to attract and retain the best candidates?
  • New marketing agenda: The advertising market will be flat in 2018. As a result, rather than spending dollars in underperforming media, companies will increase spend on revitalizing the customer experience to drive affinity and stem churn, synchronizing loyalty programs to customer expectations, understanding how to decode digital platform algorithms, and advancing marketing technology to deliver individualized experiences at scale.

Be sure to read Forrester’s Predictions 2018: A Year of Reckoning

to learn more about what’s influencing digital transformation.

As Forrester’s Vice President and Principal Analyst, Dave Bartoletti says, “The cloud computing juggernaut has fueled digital transformation like no other technology disruption before it.” Contact us to find out how to introduce your organization to the cloud—and kickstart your own digital transformation.